Let's Cook


Find recipes for the ingredients you already have.


iOS Mobile App / UX / UI case study

Lets Cook Green New 2.jpg

Role

Researcher / UX Designer / UI Designer

Timeframe

5 weeks

Tools

The Challenge

To create an app to help home cooks find recipes that use the ingredients they have on hand.  

Goals

  • ​Build a case through research for Lets Cook App, to learn the processes of a case study.

  • Design an iOS App that allows users too easily find recipes for the ingredients they have on hand.​

  • Create all illustrations and UI for app.

Process

Assumptions

Home cooks find it frustrating when they don't know what recipes they can make with the ingredients they have on hand. With this app, it would make searching for a recipe easy & enjoyable and encourage them to cook more.

User Research

Objective

To interview 5 potential users to see if my assumptions and initial findings are validated. To look for areas of user frustration for potential improvement and to gain any other insights to add as much value to this app as possible.

Target Demographic / Potential Users

  • Home cooks who want to improve their cooking experience

  • People who do not cook much at home but would like to (time poor)

This is what I found...

"I don't know what to cook..." 

All users said ideally they would cook more, but didn't know what to cook when returning home after a long day at work. 3/5 users would turn to eating out instead.

"I need to save money"

4/5 users wanted to save money by reducing the amount they ate out and reduce food wastage by using all their ingredients. 

"I want more time to focus on other things"

4/5 users felt that this app could potentially help them not only learn new cooking skills but also give them more time to focus on other skills & hobbies 

"I need to be healthier" 

3/5 users wanted to create healthier eating habits and believed that cooking at home regularly would help them achieve that. 

What my users are looking for

After synthesising my research, I sorted my findings into 2 categories - emotional + functional needs. These are the goals I am looking to resolve to add as much value into the app as possible for the user.

Emotional needs

  • Less frustration when deciding what to cook

  • An enjoyable way to find new recipes 

  • Encouragement to create healthier eating habits

  • Learning something new 

Functional needs

  • Save money by cooking more at home

  • Spend less time searching for recipes and cooking so users can focus on other tasks

  • Less food wastage

Validated Personas

“I need quick easy food ideas after a long day in the studio”

Ava the Artist

Demographic

Female 

Age:  29

Occupation:  Artist  

Location:  Sydney, Australia

Income:  60k

Behaviours

  • Works long hours 

  • Enjoys light daily exercise

  • Indulgent

  • Detail orientated

Needs & Goals

  • To wind down at the end of her busy work days

  • Less time cooking dinner for more time to focus on her art and other hobbies

“I really need to save money and try not eat out as much”

Aaron the Accountant

Demographic

 

Male

Age:  34

Occupation: Accountant     

Location:  Sydney, Australia

Income:  72k

Behaviours

  • Works 8-6 

  • Eats out 4+ times a week

  • When eating at home, tends to deviate towards unhealthy quick meals

Needs & Goals

 

  • Trying to save to buy first house

  • Healthier eating habits

  • Would like more time to do other hobbies after work

Initial Concepts

With the users needs in mind, I started the my concepts with wireframe sketches.

UI / Illustration

I choose colours that are friendly and help users work up an appetite.

Green conveys - health, calm, nature, environmental friendliness and harmony.

Yellow conveys - hunger, happiness, optimism and warmth.  

Menu and button Icons

Illustration

User Flow

User Testing

From the initial wireframes concepts to the finalised prototype, I made sure I tested the users as often as possible to prevent spending too much time in the wrong direction. This ensured I solved the main pain points to bring as much value to the app as possible. Here are the most practical solutions I designed in the app. 

Other takeaways 

 

The user testing gave me a few extra insights that allowed me to add more value to the app. 

1. Users wanted to be able to see pictures of the ingredients in their 'pantry'

2. Users wanted a more generalised search option that didn't require choosing any ingredients 

Final Prototype
 

Reflection

For a new app, it was important to have a prototype that users can test as early and as often as possible. By making sure that my wireframe concepts and low-fidelity prototypes were testable right from the beginning, I avoided spending too much time in the wrong direction. I did this by making my low-fidelity prototypes and concepts presentable and as accurate to my vision as possible (with colours, button shapes etc), because even these small visual elements affected how the users interpreted the design and steered my project.

 

Another challenge I faced is that because this app is not real, I had to find alternative measurable ways to see if this app would be successful when completed. In addition to interviews, watching users interact with the app in real time and using empathy was the most important indicator for this project. 

The most important lesson that I learnt from this project, is that it is vital to get a prototype to the user as quickly as possible. The next steps would be to test the live app on real users and receive feedback from a greater audience. 

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